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CISM - Critical Incident Stress Management: Peer support programme

Dr Isabel Cambraia, MD

The Critical Incident Stress Management model developed by Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell (1983) includes a set of psychosocial interventions in emergency and crisis situations: pre-crisis preparation and education, strategic planning, assessment, individual, group and family intervention, follow-ups and referral for ongoing care.

This model was one of the first to recognise the value of a team of Peers (colleagues of the same profession, duly trained and with training in intervention techniques) to provide the first line support and assistance to other colleagues in a situation of crisis, and the importance to do so in alliance with mental health professionals.

Although the origin of the CISM programme is linked to the emergency services professions, it has been recognized that there are other professions that are also exposed and vulnerable to the occurrence of traumatic events. Therefore, this programme has been adapted and applied to other types of organizations and communities.

One of these professions is that of Cabin Crew.